Private Mansion on Lotus Mountain: privacy and spirituality for family life
In a valley about 18 kilometers from the center of city, a private mansion is proposed on a site surrounded by a tranquil environment of hills with dense vegetation and waters. The project was to satisfy multiple functional requirements: family housing and their spiritual life-both for Buddhist worship, meditation, and contemplation, and to support the family’s living. The inward orientation of the family would define the privacy and spirituality of the building.
The design follows the mountain terrain, with three groups of geometric volumes scattered throughout a valley, which is high in the north and low in the south, steep in the west and flat in the east. The first set of buildings serves as living spaces enclosed by four artificial “boulders,” conveying the cultural accumulation and eternal heritage of “family” with the strong anchoring force of “stone.” The most important spiritual space as part of the concept of an ancestral lineage is located in a more secluded part of the valley up a mountain path, including a Buddhist hall and a leaf-shaped ancestral hall.
The layout of the residential area uses axes as the main organizational medium, creating four separated and staggered geometric blocks, naturally forming a courtyard. The square-shaped block at the center serves as the main living space for the family and friends. The bedrooms of the family members are located on the second floor, each hosting its individual access, while also being connected by an outdoor corridor on the second floor. This complex circulation route not only ensures the privacy and different living habits, but also facilitates the care of the parents by the children. The interior of the residence is dominated by warm wood tones, establishing the home’s sense of security, sheltered by the stone shell.
The Buddhist hall is the combination of a towering conical volume modeled after a pagoda that sits atop a volume with a square base, altogether forming a type of stupa, which represents the Buddhist view of the universe and follows the traditional Chinese belief that “heaven is round and earth is square”. The basement floor of the hall connects to the living area, from which the owner can take the elevator directly to the private meditation area on the second floor. An elongated “fallen leaf returning to its roots” is used to pay tribute to those family members who have passed away. The design uses positive and negative shapes to organize the space, while positive spaces with physical functions and negative spaces, which are left empty, give the building a sense of “balance” , allowing the space to shift between inside and outside, between imaginary and real, making it more expressive and experiential.
The materials chosen throughout the project correspond to the natural properties of the site-rustic and timeless. Plain fair-faced concrete and black stone constitute the two main materials of the façade, each recognizable and echoing the other, forming an orderly hierarchy. The joints between the façade stones are key to producing a coherent stone texture. By using a modular approach with six standardized stone units starting with the “corner” alternations and then forming the “plane” with staggered joints, the desired effect on the building’s “body” is achieved.
Home is a concrete expression of true feelings. It is a space for rest constructed by bricks and tiles, plants and trees. However, it is not a static presentation like a box, and is not limited to geometric space. The concept of time of generation extension, the traditional concept of clan lineage and the scene of multi generations living together slowly unfold here.
line+ & gad
Meng Fanhao, Zhu Min, Wang Yubin, Xu Hao, Wan Yuncheng (architecture); Jin Xin, Zhang Ning, Wang Lijie, Zhao Jiaqi, Lu Yue, Hu Jinwei, Zhang Ding, Li Chonghao, Zhou Lujie, Chen Yaqi, Li Chunyang, Shi Jie, Zhao Tiantian (interior); Li Shangyang, Jin Jianbo, Chen Xiaorong, Chi Xiaomei (landscape)
line+ is founded by Mr. Meng Fanhao and Mr. Zhu Peidong in Hangzhou. “line” is the boundary, based on architectural design. “+” aims to break through the clear boundaries of traditional industry and use cross-border thinking as a way to realize the boundless integration of planning, architecture, interior, landscape, product, operation and other fields. By adapting diverse strategies, we look forward to share the value of design with our partners.